Red background, words The Free Press at top and Paint the city red going down the right side. A white circle to the left with three logos in it one of a red fist, one a white fist holding a red rose with green leaves and the black letters SA with a red banner flying next to it

After reading “Painting the City Red,” (Feb, ’18, Vol 6, Free Press—Pranav Jani) I wanted to thank the author for the article, but to also correct the record.  While a decent piece, outlining activities of three of Columbus’ socialist groups in the recent period, left out was the revolutionary workers’ organization with, by far, the longest, deepest history here.  The Communist Party, USA (CPUSA) has been active here since the 1930’s, a previous period, like today, of massive people’s upsurge.  Central Ohio’s communists were then in the middle of the historic struggles to organize unemployed workers, for relief, to organize the huge new industrial unions.  Communists here, and across the nation, played a central role in the fight for democracy and the defeat of Nazism/fascism.  CP members were here, actively organizing, fighting alongside regular people, during the Civil Rights struggles, peace actions in the 60’s and had activists, leaders, of the huge Rank & File Movements in organized labor a decade later.          

Communists are also enjoying a major new boost in membership today, as thousands nationally, as well as many here, are curious about alternatives to a capitalist system in deep crisis.  A great many have, continue to, join the party, disgusted with a rotting system based on personal greed/enrichment, that heartlessly slashes life supporting health care, pensions, social security to seniors, attacks workers’ right to organize unions and works to privatize/destroy our nation’s public educational system. 

We, like the other left groups highlighted in your article, are deeply involved in the struggles of our people today.  When greedy, arrogant corporate politicians tried to wipe out public workers’ hard-earned bargaining rights, communists were in the middle of this successful historic struggle to reverse this corporate power grab and defeat Senate Bill 5.  Columbus residents who are communists greatly welcome the emerging grassroots movement here fighting to democratize governance.  Communists, the party of Paul Robeson, Claudia Jones, W.E.B. DuBois and Angela Davis have also been part of the growing movement against racism, misogyny, and homophobia, while fighting for unity of our people and for justice.  Communists have brought a working class approach, organizing to win white workers to stand up against racism, division, for unity of all working people.

In the present period, we see the rise of the extreme right, corporate politics, of Trump, as a severe crisis.  We understand the need for a very wide alliance to defeat Trump, and more importantly “Trumpism,” including all opposed to fascism, for democracy.  At the same time, we push to bring workers, African Americans, and women to the leadership of our movement, instead of following establishment liberals.

We, members of the Columbus Club—Communist Party, USA, would again like to thank you for your article on the left in Columbus, but would also like to let those who do not know, that we continue to organize, fight here for our people.  We hope to see you all in the future, on the picket lines, at the march, the rally, the meeting. 

United we stand—Divided we fall!  An injury to one is an injury to all!

Charlie Atkins
A member of CPUSA from Columbus, OH